Time to Talk Day is organised by the Time to Change campaign which aims to end stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems. It takes place annually on the first Thursday in February and encourages people around the UK to talk about mental health – at work, on the bus and so on. In Sheffield, members of the Chamber of Commerce and University Student Unions, among other bodies, have taken part.
The Rainbow Heron Small Grants Fund commissioned mental health champions Joe Kriss [Wordlife] and Sara Hill [Mester Events] to develop a variety of creative activities enabling young people in Sheffield to contribute to discussions about mental health for Time to Talk 2017.
Our Time to Talk Festival was 1st to 5th February 2017
It included spoken word performance and open mic events in city centre locations, with local and national poets – and audiences – and passers-by – taking part. “At the same time moving, funny, brave, inspirational, daring and comforting”
In addition, there were ground-breaking (and very popular) “chill out zones” at two of Sheffield’s leading nightclubs: a safe space with some creative activities for self-expression and winding down.
Some of the outputs of our Time to Talk Festival will be published / exhibited for Mental Health Week in October 2017
We also used the opportunity to announce our first two Sheffield Young People’s Mental Health Champions: Alex Somerset-Greaves and Charly Calpin.
The Champions programme is supported by Michael Thomas, Governor for Young People Service Users for Sheffield NHS Foundation Trust and Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley – read her full statement at http://www.louisehaigh.org.uk/time_to_talk
“I’d like to thank the organisers for putting together this fantastic event today. We’re lucky to have people in this city dedicated to advancing the cause of mental health and wellbeing… to give us a unique opportunity to hold discussions out in the open, and help defeat the stigma that too often surrounds mental health.”
Quotes / Feedback about Time To Talk:
“Every time someone tells me about their own experience with mental illness, all I ever feel is privileged that they’ve chosen to share with me.”
“I took to Twitter and found there were other people out there just like me. Other people who were off work… Other people who were trying to cope with the turmoil that was happening to them right there and then. I no longer felt alone.”
“It’s #timetotalk because if you say something, you realise how many people around you haven’t, and needed to.”
“The day gives people “permission” to at last talk, to feel understood, to feel part of something instead of feeling isolated.”
“I posted very openly about my struggles with BPD. I explained exactly what the illness entails and how it affects me. The support was awesome.”